06/27/11 5:30 PM ET
Weekend attendance highest since '08
MLB exceeds 1.625 million fans in back-to-back weekends
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
For the first time in three years, MLB has drawn more than 1.625 million fans in consecutive weekends. There were 1,626,347 fans for this past weekend's 45 games, following the 1,646,000 from June 17-19. That marks the first time since July 11-13 (1,707,975) and July 18-20, 2008, (1,668,015) that MLB has exceeded 1.625 million on back-to-back weekends.
In addition, MLB is currently averaging 34,118 fans through 168 games of Interleague Play. That is 20.3 percent higher than this season's intraleague average of 28,372.
Here were some of the attendance highlights from the weekend:
The Pirates -- now over .500 in their long-awaited bid for contention -- are getting into the act as well. They drew 39,483 fans on Saturday, the largest crowd to see a baseball game in the 10-year history of PNC Park. The mark was broken again on Sunday, when the Pirates drew a crowd of 39,511. The three-date series total was a PNC Park-record 118,324.
Across the state, the Phillies' series against the A's was the highest-attended three-game series in Citizens Bank Park history (137,333). It contained the second- (45,863), fourth- (45,785) and 14th- (45,685) largest regular-season crowds in park history. Fans there saw Roy Halladay join Jair Jurrjens as NL 10-game winners on Sunday, and they were thrilled on Friday night with Ben Francisco's pinch-hit single in the ninth to break a scoreless tie.
The Royals drew 100,066 for their three-game series against the Cubs, and that was the highest total at Kauffman Stadium in 2011. It was Kansas City's most-attended three-game series since it drew 110,311 against the Cardinals last June 25-27.
It continues to be a big year at the gate for the defending American League champion Rangers. They drew 46,092 fans on Friday night against the Mets -- the 13th crowd of more than 45,000 this season at Rangers Ballpark, which is just two fewer than last year's total.
At Yankee Stadium, Nick Swisher said it all on Sunday: "It was just a wonderful day." Indeed, one sure highlight of the weekend was the Yankees' 65th Old-Timers' Day -- drawing legends like Yogi Berra and Reggie Jackson -- and 47,894 saw it followed by a Yankees victory over the Rockies. The three-game series between contenders drew 140,822, with New York taking two of three.
Look for more big numbers this week, led by some especially intriguing matchups starting on Tuesday. The Brewers will visit the Bronx for a three-game series -- their first road games against the Yankees since they joined the NL -- and a battle of division leaders. Meanwhile, Cliff Lee and the Phillies will host the Red Sox to start a series that many think could be a World Series preview.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.